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Impacted bowel: don't be a victim! Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

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Unread 09-25-2011, 07:46 PM
Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

So, 6 days post op and spent the better part of the past 24 hours trying to move my bowels. I took all the precautions: bowel prep the day before, leafy veggies, prunes, lots of fluids, colace twice a day, walking as tolerated. Ended up in tears and debilitating pain today, finally went to the e.r., where a very sweet doctor recognized my desperate plight and popped me straightaway back into a room, where I was dosed with an antiemitic, an anti spasmodic, and an anti-inflammatory. An X-ray showed complete intestinal blockage, stem to stern, with a mass at the bowel entrance. Two soapy enemas later,
(if you need one, I advise you to stay on your side. It helps keep the pressure down) I finally passed enough golf ball sized fecal matter to be released. By the time I got home, everything, and I mean everything, came out.
So what happened? Narcotics, pure and simple. Combined with an anal sphincter that has been through some rough treatment this year( three surgeries, all pain controlled with narcotics, all resulting in a very abused bottom) and not enough healthy foods in hospital all conspired to make one horrible crisis!
I was sent home with an order for Senekot and doubling the colace, however, a very kind nurse suggested I add mineral oil, 2teaspoons a day, to my diet, provided my doctor oks it. She's a 4-year double mastectomy cancer survivor and completely understood what I was going through. I was very lucky, I had staff who recognized my delicate condition (I was afraid of pulling stitches) and never made me feel silly for coming in. They were more afraid I might have perforated a bowel.
In retrospect, I should never have left the hospital on Wednesday, as I hadn't passed gas and it was obvious there was an issue, I just hoped it would clear up the same way it always does. If you are feeling "not right" and it's been more than 7 days since you had a bowel movement, do not hesitate to call your doctor or seek help! They were very professional and refused to let me be embarrassed; they were discussing ways to change post op dietary policies when I left and I'm now home, resting much more comfortably! you know your body best, you know when it is and isn't working. Make sure you stand up for yourself, even if it is embarrassing!
Unread 09-25-2011, 10:51 PM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

Happy to hear you're home and now able to work on your recovery.

It's very difficult to get hospital staff to listen to patients sometimes. I experienced that both with pain management and bowel issues.

Heal well!
Unread 09-26-2011, 08:00 AM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

Thank you. I don't understand hospital people sometimes. The nurse reduced to believe she could not stick my left arm. The vein there is pretty and everyone wants to shoot for the IV there and it always rolls. The tech finally listened to me, stuck my very cooperative right inside elbow vein. I know my body; listen when I say something is going to work!
My only problem is I'm now afraid to eat. So much pain for such a small thing. >:-(

Originally Posted by svick View Post
Happy to hear you're home and now able to work on your recovery.

It's very difficult to get hospital staff to listen to patients sometimes. I experienced that both with pain management and bowel issues.

Heal well!
Unread 09-26-2011, 05:59 PM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

MrsAllnut, I'm so sorry to hear you were in such pain, but I'm glad you listened to your body and got yourself to the ER to avoid a perforated bowel! Rest up, and eat something you enjoy.
Unread 09-26-2011, 08:59 PM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

Sorry to hear of your complication, but glad that you are home and doing better. I had a day when I tried to introduce foods that I had a taste for before my digestive tract had started and almost had a similar situation.

I'd suggest eating softer non-binding foods until your tract starts to really catch up. I monitored my output (sorry tmi) before I would eat anything else and drank lots... I mean a lot of water. I also eat flax oil seed in my yoghourt and a little oat meal... followed by more water.

Remember small meals and stay hydrated. Take care.
Unread 09-26-2011, 09:01 PM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

Thank you! I actually called my doctor this afternoon, in meltdown, from the pain. After gently chiding me for letting it get out of control ("I cut you open and turned your insides out just a week ago! Of course you're in pain!") she offered me pain relief that wouldn't make me nauseous or mess up my bowels. I am so very blessed to have a doctor who is so available and helpful. And today was National Pancake Day, so we had pancakes, bacon, and apples and prunes for me! My poor family groaned when I insisted everyone eat more fruit. They indulged me though.
Unread 09-26-2011, 09:10 PM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

Good! I'm glad that your doctor is so helpful and attentive. I stopped with the narcotics three days after because they were giving me great headaches. I was able to switch to ibuprofen 800MG and it managed my pain.

I really like your posts. Be well Princess.
Unread 09-27-2011, 01:12 AM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

Wow, I was in the same boat 7 days post-op! I also left the hospital before I could pass gas! They kept asking if I did yet, I kept saying NO...but I was released anyway. I FINALY had a BM the day after my one week post-op appt. The Dr told me to "do something to get it started"...he suggested milk of mag, the horrid magnesium citrate, or an enema. I tried milk of mag and it worked the next evening. I was at my wits end!!! I couldn't sit, or even lay down. It was absolutely horrible!! They need to come up with a good post-op instruction for this! Glad you are better...I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Unread 09-27-2011, 01:35 AM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

Yay! I am so glad you are better...
Unread 09-27-2011, 05:12 AM
Re: Impacted bowel: don't be a victim!

I'm so glad you're doing better and that you went to the ER when you did. I did the same thing last week because I thought I had a mild infection, instead going on 6 days later I'm still in the hospital with said infection. I can't say enough about going in if you think something is wrong.

Thankfully, after talking to a dietrion here at the Castle, I get very specific meals that work for my needs and I was able to forgo softeners this round in. But they would have started today if I hadn't had a BM last night.

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